There is a sense of relief and anticipation as the final class of the semester— a particularly mind-numbing lecture on holo-ethics (AKA Photons & Light: Finding Souls in Fragmented Code)— comes to a close. There is a series of crisp clicks as the cadets power-down their projected screens used for note-taking, and a gentle hum as the main lights gradually grow in intensity back to full-power. Each cadet is left squinting at sheaf of simulated paper in their hands— archaic technology, really, but their professor has a fascination with pre-warp society, and doesn’t seem to care who she inconveniences with her enthusiastic obsession.
Each paper details each cadet’s personal ID number, their roommate to-be for their extended deep-space field-trip, and a map to help them get to Medical Bay 12— the unofficial starting point of their journey into deep-space.
Three unusual first-year cadets step out of their final class and wander through the well-kept corridors of Starfleet Academy’s San Francisco campus. Maxfield Stone, a Turian borne through tragedy and raised by humans; T’Vrai, a Vulcan practicing the rebellious philosophy of the V’tosh Ka’tur; and Cinzia T’loak, an Asari who is at odds with her Justicar mother and seeks her paternal roots.
- Maxfield Stone finds out he is roommates with Yeng’var, a much-too-talkative Shalari
- Cinzia and T’Vrai discover they are to be roommates aboard the ASF Peregrine
- Yeng’var, during one of his excitable babbling episodes, accidentally admits to hacking into the Academy’s systems to view every cadets’ files.
- T’Vrai decides to exercise what she believes to be a key aspect of the V’tosh Ka’tur, and rebells against strict Academy code by consuming Vulcan Meal Supplement No. 9— a bean.
- When she finally reaches the unimpressed Asari attendant of Medical Bay 12, the bio-scanner reveals T’Vrai’s recent rebellious meal. The Asari attendant calls for a stomach pump.
- CRITICAL HIT! T’Vrai states that she has a “better course of action,” and proceeds to run and vomit into an opened maintenance hatch without anyone being the wiser. She passes through the bio-scanner without incident this time.
- Meanwhile, T’Vrai had no idea that a few moments later an Academy maintenance worker returned to the hatch to continue his work—trying to dislodge a particularly bad spot of plasma grease— to find that it had been miraculously fixed. But golly, did that miracle ever have a weird smell.
- Cinzia and Maxfield pass the Asari attendant’s inspection and through the bioscanner without major incident, and all three move into Medical Bay 12.
- There, they are greeted by a Salarian nurse of sorts— a fourth-year Medical cadet named Ridan Tanar. He shows them to their assigned cryo-tubes, and each cadet feels as if falling into a deep sleep as coldness flows into them.
They know that when they wake, they will be aboard the ASF Peregrine, Scholar Class, and that they will be 3 months out from Sol— and that their adventure will begin.